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roddy

[Late] China Blocks IMDB

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roddy

I can't sodding believe this. IMDB is now blocked. Apparently this happened a week or so ago, but I missed it as it's not a regular site for me, it didn't make any of the news I read, and I stopped reading blogs in 2006. But in the name of all that's sensible, the IMDB. It's not like they killed my email or anything, but I'd use it now and then to read up on films I was thinking about watching. Just read the Google snippets for 'IMDB blocked' (didn't bother clicking through, the sites are probably all blocked) and it's apparently due to the listing of some Tibet film.

What are they going to do for an encore, block Dictionary.com for listing the words 'backwards' and 'morons'.

Message over. Going to have a nice calming game of chess on Facebook and then perhaps watch some Youtube clips.

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muyongshi

Haha... discovered that about 2-3 days ago. I was pretty miffed. Of course gave it the 24 hour test and well it's been more like 64+ so.... yeah... crazy.

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gougou

They did reinstate yeeyan on the same day, so overall it's a win, I guess.

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anon6969

One Internet for the rest of the world. One internet for China.

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liuzhou

Yeah, they blocked it on the same day that Zhou Xisheng (周锡生) Deputy Chief of Xinhua News Agency, Director-General of Xinhua News Net announced that China has the most open internet in the world. :conf

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gougou

Seems to be back. You can even access the movie that apparently triggered this.

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eatfastnoodle

Well, this is China. Sometimes it can indeed drive you nuts with all these seemly random bursts of rage from the government. But as perversely ridiculous as it might sound, I actually think Chinese internet, in an strictly domestic sense, is actually quite open and frank, even chaotic for the most part. Yeah, the existence of GFW isn't an secret, and yeah, the internet censorship, especially site-blocking targeting foreign web sites has become progressively more stringent and more technologically advanced since late 90s, but inside the wall, it's also getting much more diverse and crazier. The reason Google's declaration is a bang outside China but a whimper inside China isn't necessarily China's government censorship blocking out the news, it's because there is an substitute inside the wall for everything that exists outside the wall. We all know Baidu, QQ, Taobao, Kaixin, Youku, etc. Even some of the more, you know, "anti-China" portion of the internet get counterparts inside, go to Tianya and Kaidi, you'll see just how crazy some of the rhetoric against the government are and if you were internet savvy, you'd know the role played by these internet forums in some of the famous black-eye punches the government receives lately. Again, like everything, it's not as optimistic as the government says but it's also far from as bad as what you read in English media. Just get something to scale the wall, it shouldn't be that hard. And let's hope after old farts leaves the scene, new kids taking over could be more reasonable.

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Hüsker Dü

@eatfastnoodle:

but it's also far from as bad as what you read in English media.

Don't have to read anything to know how bad it is. I'm just trying to figure out why sharing photos with my 70 year-old uncle on facebook is a threat to state security.

I actually think Chinese internet, in an strictly domestic sense, is actually quite open and frank

Until the "5 mao party" steers public opinion back in the "right" direction.

Just get something to scale the wall, it shouldn't be that hard.

Shouldn't be there in the first place.

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phyrex

That's nonsense. The internet isn't free domestically, seeing that 50c gang business, all that censoring and even the taking-people-to-illegal-prisons-because-of-what-they-wrote incidents. And just because we might have the privileges (i.e. the money and knowledge) to get over the wall, doesn't make the whole affair any better.

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eatfastnoodle

Again, this is China, government always plays a much much much bigger role in society and people's lives. It's been going on like this for thousands of years.(they regulate people's lives but they also perform much more duty than governments of many countries, take a tour of Sichuan's earth quake stricken area and New Orleans, the difference in recovery is striking). I'm not saying it's right. But I do know at least the whole anti-porn thing is quite popular with parents (even though clearly they forget how horny they were when they were teenagers and how futile to try to regulate hormones). I have more experience with Chinese censorship than you guys, I'm fully aware of how annoying it is and how exasperating it could be, but it's foolish to think that it's simply a matter of government forcing its will on citizens and it's naive to try to apply what the West considers should or shouldn't to China. Again, it's China, China has its own peculiarities, some are good, some are bad, mostly just don't matter squat to most Chinese, you don't have to like it, but you'd be doing an disservice to yourself to think that whatever the government is doing is something conjured up by a cartoonish cabal of dictators to rape 1.3 billion people's will, they aren't that powerful, they aren't that united and the people aren't that stupid (Vast majority of people I know know perfectly well what happened during Mao Zedong's reign, my father saw it with his own eyes, yet they still consider Mao to be the savor of China and fully supportive of him personally, if not some of his policies. There are things, I, let alone you guys, can't even understand, but that doesn't mean they're stupid or wrong.)

I'm sure there are tons of hired guns sent out by the government to influence on-line opinion, but I also know many of my friends in China long enough and well enough to realize that their opinion ain't that much different from the so called "5 Mao Party", including matters related to Google, IMDB and censorship in general, but especially when it comes to anything supported by the US and the West. Things ain't as simple as you would like to believe.

As for my assertion of Chinese internet, I stand by it because I never say it's free, nothing is totally free, if you think internet is free in the states, then I have nothing to say, you need to open your eyes to what's happening on-line more often. What I was saying is just that this internet is diverse, spontaneous, with full spectrum of opinions mostly freely expressed one way or another and for the most part anti-government rhetoric WON'T land you in jail. It's not perfect in any way, it's definitely worse that what it should be, but it's not something that absence of IMDB or Google could do fatal damage to.

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roddy
I have more experience with Chinese censorship than you guys,

Go on then, tell us all about it. Us foolish and naive guys obviously need the education.

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eatfastnoodle

well, let's just say that I was there when there was no censorship whatsoever, I was there when set up a proxy in the browser would be enough to go anywhere, I was there when you need encrypted proxy to go anywhere, I was there when google was blocked the first time (if you know such an incident), I was there when after the 99 bombing of Chinese embassy which directly led to fundamental change of opinion on-line and off-line about the US and everything supported by the US, and I was in the US when Fox News soured my opinion about freedom of expression and I was there when Nobel Prize Winning economist opining on New York Time based on such faulty logic and such flimsy premise that the only conclusion I can derive from reading his column is he did it for political purposes.

While I'm not a big fan of Chinese media or Chinese internet, I've been in the US long enough to know the media landscape in the US isn't something to be jealous of either. Frankly, I'm not impressed, that's why I reach the conclusion: Chinese internet is relatively diverse, relative to what? Relative the internet I experienced in the US. Don't mean to imply you're naive, but sometimes you do think too highly of yourself and what you think you know.

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gato

You actually believe that the censorship is about porn and not politics? So why do the websites for government newspapers all still have picture of girls in bikinis and push-up bras?

By the way, you should write more concisely and get to the point.

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eatfastnoodle

Well, you should stop assuming stuff I didn't write. Seriously, what's the deal with you guys that make you think so little before jumping to conclusions? Where did I say it's about only porn but NOT about politics? Why do you see the world through George W.Bush axis of evil sort of angle? Is there only black and white? Do everything Chinese government do have to do with politics? How many Chinese have you talked to? Seriously. What I know or don't know is not important, what's important is I know I don't know a lot of stuff but you seem to think you know pretty much everything. Buddy, it's attitude and perspective I'm talking about here.

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chrix

Let me continue sitting on the fence for a while regarding the issue at hand, but eatfastnoodle, I have to second gato's point here:

By the way, you should write more concisely and get to the point.

there will be less "misunderstandings" that way (or at least make use of the CR so the text is divided into a number of more comfortably legible "chunks").

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renzhe
if you think internet is free in the states, then I have nothing to say, you need to open your eyes to what's happening on-line more often.

While I agree that people are a bit too ignorant on the extent of censorship in the west, you have to agree that the extent and intrusiveness of the censorship in China puts it at a completely different level.

And while it's true that simply criticising the government will not get you shot (as some people in Europe and the US seem to believe), and that the Chinese people absolutely love bitching about their government, you will also agree that you have to be rather careful about when and where you voice your discontent, and in which way.

And this is also quite different from the situation in Europe, where you can pretty much say what you want, but the media will readily ignore you, so anything you say will not matter anyway.

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eatfastnoodle

Chrix:

I won't dispute that. This is not the first time somebody pointed out for me and after much denial, I finally came to the conclusion that my writing style is exactly like what so many people, including gato and you, told me it is. Sorry for being such a wordy windbag here, I guess I was influenced by the fact that I learned my English writing primarily through reading and imitating New York Time articles which are kinda more verbose than necessary.

I'm not trying to pick up a fight here, I'm as much miffed as all of you regarding the IMDB matter. I just don't think it's fair or wise to read too much into it and the whole censorship thing. All I am saying is it's bad, but it's not as critically bad as you think and most people inside the wall know perfectly well what's going on, if they really felt their rights had been trampled in any intolerable way, they would act, they didn't because they didn't feel that way.

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adrianlondon

eatfastnoodle, when you keep saying "you" do you mean "people in China", "people who aren't Chinese", "people who aren't from China", "white people", "westerners", "everyone but me" or .. ?

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